According to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), two Russian bombers were intercepted off the coast of Alaska recently. This was the first flight by the country’s bombers off the coast of Alaska since the mid of May this year.
The Russian planes, were flying in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), south of the Aleutian Islands. The two TU-95 “Bear” long-range bombers, were intercepted by two F-22 fighters around Saturday noon.
A spokesperson said that the two Russian TU-95 bomber aircrafts were intercepted and monitored by the F-22s before the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west . He added that the Russian bombers did not enter Canadian or United States sovereign airspace.
NORAD said while citing operational security that it would not disclose how close the Russian bombers were to American territory.
TASS, a Russian news agency, said that Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed about this weekend’s interception.
The Defense ministry said in a statement to TASS that Tu-95 MS strategic long-range bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces performed scheduled flights over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk .
It added that at some stages of the route, the aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Forces were being escorted by two F-22 fighter jets of the US Air Force.
This was the second time this year that Russian aircraft have flown in the vicinity of Alaska.
In a similar incident earlier this year on the 11th of May , TU-142 maritime surveillance plane and two Russian TU-95 bombers were intercepted by two F-22’s off the western coast of Alaska.
ADIZ is an airspace over water or land that is monitored for the interest of national security. The American ADIZ off the coast of Alaska extends to about 200 miles from the coast into international airspace.
While transiting this zone, unidentified aircrafts are asked to identify themselves. A joint U.S.-Canadian military command, NORAD sends military aircraft towards the unidentified aircrafts that enter the ADIZ in order to “intercept” them.
Norad is a combined organization of the United States and Canada which provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for Northern America. Headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located near Colorado Springs, Colorado at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County.
Intercepts involve both visual identification of the aircraft as well as radio communications with the pilots.